University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Founded: June 10, 1854 Re-chartered: May 14, 1955; October 12, 1996; May 5, 2013
Ideal Chapter Size: 45
President - Jared Marvel
Vice President - Liam Feeney
Recruitment Director - Ben Garner
Alumni Director - Mike Putnam
Grand Chapter Advisor - Justin Chambers
Alumni Association President - None
The Campus Shakespeare Club (C.S.C.) was organized at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1879. In 1892 an alumni corporation for the C.S.C. was formed and in 1910 a house was purchased. Dr. C. E. Chapin, C.S.C. '79, Gamma 13, was the chief force in moving the local fraternity to petition Alpha Sigma Phi. The petition for charter was submitted on November 12, 1912.
On February 14, 1913, the members and alumni of the Campus Shakespeare Club were initiated and the Gamma Chapter was installed in Alpha Sigma Phi. The chapter continued until 1942, most of that time at 85 Pleasant Avenue, Amherst, Massachusetts. The use of the Gamma chapter designation was based on the location of both Amherst College and Massachusetts Agricultural College in the same town, Amherst, Massachusetts.
Following World War II the chapter was not revived until Delta Phi Gamma was organized in May 1952, and petitioned for a charter. Dr. Charles Peters, C.S.C. 1892, U Mass '13, presented the charge to the chapter on re-installation on May 14, 1955. For a time the revived chapter occupied a house which had earlier been the residence of Robert Frost and Calvin Coolidge. The chapter newsletter was "The Gamma Noumenoun." Unable to recruit successfully during the era of anti-establishment sentiments at the height of the Vietnam War, the chapter closed in 1971.
Alpha Sigma Phi Expansion Director Todd Harris, UCLA '90, organized an interest group at the University of Massachusetts in January 1994. The initial group meeting involved seven students and took place in Kennedy Tower in the 19th floor room of Jeff Powell. The interest group grew to 21 men. Their motto was Do it right and finish it 19 undergraduates and two advisors signed the colonization petition submitted in 1994. The colony was re-chartered on October 12, 1996. The new chapter found some success for a time. However, a dramatic decrease in membership and inability to meet financial obligations forced closure of the chapter in Fall 2000. Gamma Chapter's last initiate class was in February 1999; the chapter's roster contains 766 initiates names.
Authorization has been given for efforts to re-establish the chapter. Initially an effort was scheduled for Fall 2006, but was delayed because five other NIC fraternities were also planning colonization or re-colonization efforts. An interest group was organized in Spring 2010 by Fraternity Staff member Jason Hinson-Nolen, Murray State '05 and achieved colony status. The colony finished the 2010-2011 academic year with fifteen members.
The colony intitially struggled to gain a foothold on campus, but with persistence and under the guidance of staff member Jeremy Ried, Elmhurst '07, the colony was able to recruit more men, boost their chapter operations, and become a strong, positive presence on the campus at Amherst. The colony petitioned the Grand Council to re-charter in the spring of 2013 and their request was granted. On May 5, 2013 Grand Council Mike Waters, Oregon State '73, Fraternity Vice President Matt Humberger, Bowling Green '03, and Foundation President and CEO Drew Thawley, Ohio Wesleyan '94 presented the charter to the members of Gamma Chapter.
Henry E. Chapin, U Mass '13, served Alpha Sigma Phi as editor of the Tomahawk from 1915 to 1921. James Mulligan, U Mass '67, served on the Fraternity staff. Thirteen alumni of the chapter have received the Delta Beta Xi Award.
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